Norbury Avenue rat run re-opened and is ‘unsafe’ say cyclists

How the Norbury Avenue trial closure has been left by council workmen

How the Norbury Avenue trial closure has been left by council workmen. All pictures by Angus Hewlett

As Inside Croydon reported before the Bank Holiday weekend, Croydon Council has abandoned its Quietway scheme along Norbury Avenue without completing the intended trial period, and all done with seemingly indecent haste, if the state of the signage left behind is anything to go by (see picture right).

Norbury Avenue has long been notorious as a rat run for motorists between Thornton Heath and Norbury.

In an effort to deal with this, working with the Mayor of London’s office and the sustainability group Sustrans, the council closed the road was closed at the end of June. The trial period was to have run for three months, so that traffic could be monitored for at least a couple of weeks in September when the school run is in full-flow.

The Quietway along Norbury Avenue has been abandoned, with the central bollards removed. Photo by Angus Hewlett

The Quietway along Norbury Avenue has been abandoned, with the central bollards removed. Photo by Angus Hewlett

The route along Norbury Avenue was supposed to be a vital link in a chain of Quietways, providing a cycle route from south London all the way to Waterloo. That entire scheme appears fatally compromised now that Croydon has abandoned its trial prematurely.

But at least this has afforded Labour councillor Pat Ryan the opportunity to display his grasp – or lack of it – of how democracy works.

Ryan, who is not a councillor for the affected wards of Norbury or Thornton Heath, stuck his oar in once the closures had been implemented (shame he had not bothered to brief himself on the proposals during the planning phase), and last week he proclaimed, “This is a healthy democratic exercise. Subject to negotiation, the road closure will go.”

Veteran councillor Ryan was recently sacked as the chief whip of the Labour group at the Town Hall. With proclamations such as that, it’s easy to see why. Let’s hope Councillor Ryan didn’t release his statement through the Labour group’s press officer (if it has one).

Open road: there have already been reports that motorists have been speeding along the re-opened Norbury Avenue

Open road: there have already been reports that motorists have been speeding along the re-opened Norbury Avenue. Photo by Angus Hewlett

Such was the rush in which the council contractors did the work to re-open Norbury Avenue, some motorists may be confused by the signage left behind.

Such was the rush in which the council contractors did the work to re-open Norbury Avenue, some motorists may be confused by the signage left behind. Photo by Angus Hewlett

But then, this is Croydon, the borough which spends tens of thousands of pounds on creating a “cycle hub” after spending millions over the previous four years in removing or reducing the cycle routes that lead to it.

It’s not known as Disconnected Croydon for nothing.

Local cycling groups have launched an online petition addressed to Croydon Council leader Tony Newman to try to salvage the trial, in which they claim that the road, without the calming restrictions, is unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians.

“Many local residents agree that there is a big problem with traffic cutting through this neighbourhood, dividing it with a consistent flow of vehicles and creating fear of high speeds and lack of respect from drivers.

To view the petition in full, click here

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Community associations, Commuting, Croydon Council, Croydon Cycling Campaign, Croydon Greens, Cycling, Environment, Mayor of London, Norbury, Pat Ryan, Thornton Heath, Tony Newman, Transport and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Norbury Avenue rat run re-opened and is ‘unsafe’ say cyclists

  1. dan5324 says:

    Well clearly it isn’t popular with locals, despite the cyclists thinking otherwise. Seems cyclists are only happy, and only believe in democracy if it goes their way!!

    Like

    • Oh. An anonymous commenter. Do please read the site’s terms of use.

      Flaws in your “argument”: Who knows if the scheme is popular with locals, if the trial period isn’t allowed to run its course? The absurdity of the council’s knee-jerk, panicked response is that, had it allowed the trial to run its course, it may well have provided ample evidence to support the point of view of those opposed to the Quietway, as much as those in favour of it.

      As we’ve reported before, the consultation was far from satisfactory, but there is also an unsavoury element in which some vested interest lobbyists have been using bogus identities to pass themselves as “local”, seeking to dominate the debate.

      But this is not just a Croydon issue: the Quietways are a pan-London project. Remove the Croydon link, and the whole of the network is compromised.

      And democracy? Improved provision for cycling was part of the local election promises which saw Labour elected, at an election, at which people across the whole borough voted, in an election, last year. So how is implementing a scheme, for a trial period, in any way anti-democratic?

      Liked by 1 person

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